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Archive for the ‘Choices’ Category

Discouragement causes weariness to creep into our lives.  It causes us to say and do things we would never consider saying or doing otherwise.  Discouragement breaks down our perspective.  Sometimes it comes even when we have just completed something great for God.  It will tell us that we are useless, hopeless and abandoned.

The story of Elijah has always captured my attention.  (I Kings 19) Here is this great prophet of God, after he has won a mighty victory over the prophets of Baal, hiding under a tree.  What ever for?  God has just used him to prove that he is the true and mighty God and Elijah is off hiding somewhere and begging God to just go ahead and take his life. This was all less than a day after the fire fell from heaven.  Hmmm…before we are too quick to judge Elijah, let’s look at our own life.  How many times have we come from a “mountain top” experience, only to plummet to depths of discouragement.  Discouragement will make you hide.  Are you trying to hide today because of discouragement?  In the 5th verse of I Kings 19, an angel of the Lord appeared to Elijah as he slept and woke him up and said, “Arise and eat”.  When Elijah awoke there was a cake, baked on the grill and a bottle of water for him to drink.  Elijah ate and drank and then went back to sleep.  The poor man was exhausted.  Yes, he had just been through the ringer, so to speak, but he had also allowed discouragement to make him weary.  The angel of the Lord came the second time, woke him up, had a meal prepared and said, “Eat, for the journey is too great for you”.  To make a long story short…The Lord allowed Elijah a few days to rest and in the process took care of him with food and water and an angel guard as he slept.  However, when the time was right, just a few verses down in the same chapter, Elijah is bemoaning the “fact” that he and only he was left as the servant of God.  The Lord allowed him to say this a couple of times and then He said, “Elijah!  Look around you.  There are 7,000 who have not bowed to Baal or kissed him.”  In other words,  It is time for you to get over your pity party and come join the rest of us. 🙂

Remember this, even in times of discouragement….God will not leave you or forsake you.  He will give you time to rest.  He will supply your needs (a cake baked on the coals and water).  He will send His protecting angel to stand by you as you gather yourself together.  And, then….He will let you know, in His good way that He is still good.  The church is moving on.  There are thousands that still believe and trust in the one true God.  It is time to shake the discouragement off and continue to go about the Lord’s work.

If it’s time for you today to come out from under the broom tree, then get up! Shake yourself and Have a GREAT day, knowing He is still in control.  “Jezebel” can’t harm you.  People that have tried to “take you down”  won’t be able to.  God is your fortress.  He is your right, left, front and back guard.  NO ONE can separate you from the love of Jesus.

Keep on keepin’ on!  Let discouragement go today.  As you do this, you will find peace and healing for your hurting heart.  Will everything be perfect?  Of course not.  We haven’t made it to heaven yet.  However, life will be much better, knowing that God is in control.  Your enemies are under His feet.

Be Blessed!

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I believe that the beginning of the New Year would be a great time to begin the healing process.  Forgiveness is the first step.  It is not easy but it is so worth the effort.  If you are struggling with unforgiveness, maybe this little article will help get you on the right track.  Please don’t live this year in the Prison of Unforgiveness.  Break free from the bonds and soar like an eagle. 

 

What’s standing between you and forgiveness? Recent scholarly research confirms what many already know—that forgiving others is a valuable gift for ourselves. Research shows that when we forgive, we have less stress, anger, and other psychosomatic symptoms like headaches, upset stomachs, and so on.I know many of us carry very deep wounds from the past, and can barely imagine forgiving those who have wronged us. It may take time, but I challenge you to commit yourself to forgiving them.

Maybe there’s a strained relationship with a child, a parent, a sibling or “friend”.  Do you own some of the blame for the way things are? Maybe it’s time to ask for some forgiveness. Imagine how powerful an exchange like that would be!

Here are some steps to forgiveness from the researchers:

First, we need to change our expectations of others. Instead of having “rules” for how they behave, we should have “preferences.” After all, we can’t control how others act. Maybe you’ll never have a perfect relationship with your dad—or your teenager–or your sibling. But you can probably accept them a little more for who they are and—from there—build a good relationship.

Second, we need to try to see the other person’s perspective. Maybe your dad never got what he needed from his father. His wound may have made him incapable of providing what you needed. Maybe your daughter is under a lot of stress with all she’s dealing with at school. Considering the other person’s perspective can make a big difference.

The third step is to move from blaming to acceptance, and then move on. Moving on may mean building a new, better relationship. Often, that’s what forgiveness brings. But also realize that your forgiveness doesn’t depend on them. If they don’t respond or even if they reject you, you have still forgiven, released the hurt feelings, and committed to go on with life in a positive way. What a burden that can lift!

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Also,  to my friends that have somehow gotten away from the Lord…You have been on my mind the past couple of days.  God and the church are waiting with open arms for you to come back.  We miss you.  We love you.  I think that the song I co-wrote with my brother, Keith, sums it up quite well:

Come On Home

Verse 1

I saw that look in your eye, that far away dream, of days gone by you were so happy and free.  And I knew you remembered the good times we had, serving Jesus every day through good and the bad…

Chorus

And nothing’s changed as far as we’re concerned.  We love you now just like we did back then.  So, Come on Home where you belong.  You’ve been away for much to long.  And Jesus wants to take you back again.

Verse 2

You see, I know how you feel, ’cause I’ve walked that road so far from home, afraid and alone.  Oh, but I see the Father, with His arms open wide, longing just to hold you again by His side…

 

music and lyrics by: Ronda Hurst and Keith Layne

© Nelon Music Group

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God is not a respecter of persons but He is a respecter of principals. He has plans for everyone to accomplish great things. Don’t believe anything other than Jer. 29:11(Amplified Bible)–For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.

Here are a few principals to help you start today!

1. Work Like it is up to you and pray like it is up to God!  Work hard and pray hard! God wants to help you more than you want His help.

2. Have a concise plan of where and what you want to accomplish. Write it down  in detail. Then write down how you think you will accomplish it.

3. Do 5 things every day that drives you in that direction.

4. ASK for help. Surround yourself with a team of people who share your passion.

5. Contact someone who has already done what you want and ask for them to coach you. Be willing to do what they ask.

6. Align yourself with the authorities in your life.

7. Be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way and give 110% like it is where you already want to be.

8. Take risk. Sometimes when you live on the edge you will fall off but you will miss 100% of the opportunities that you never try! The worst thing that could happen is most likely where you already are.

9. Take serious action today. Don’t wait one more day!

10. Do what you love! Most likely your gift is in someway connected!

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Sarah Palin

I stole this from my sister, Karla.

Isn’t it great?

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Last night Nathan and I went over to Monterey to eat at Benihana’s only to find it closed up tighter than a drum. 😦 When your taste buds are set for a certain kind of food that is very disappointing. Well, we ended up going to one of our favorite little places, The Monterey Fish House and we were not disappointed. Nathan got the Prawn Pasta and I got Crab Cakes. Oh my, was it ever good. Simply Yummy. Don’t try to get into the Fish House without reservations on Friday or Saturday Night. You will wait for at least an hour unless you get there around 5:00 p.m. Of course I think it’s worth it. The Monterey Fish House is just a little pink building and does not “house” that many diners. I said all that to say this….I looked up the closest Benihana’s to us today and found it to be in Cupertino and lo and behold it is shut down too. At least they told me it was for renovations. I’m just wondering if the one in Monterey is closed for good or are they also remodeling the restaurant? Does anyone know about these things? 🙂

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“Frown and you frown alone. Smile and the whole world smiles with you.”

That may be a little stretch but we all know that smiles are contagious.

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However, December can sometimes be a lonely and “depressing” month for some people, so here is a list of things you can do to lift your spirits.

  • Be Thankful. Think about what you have. This sounds like the whole “Count your blessings” thing all over again, but it really is important. Remember good times you’ve had with family and friends, and maybe that will make you feel better.
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  • Keep yourself busy. If your energy is focused outward you’ll be less likely to obsess about things you can’t change.
  • Do not isolate yourself in your room.
  • Try to smile, and laugh at jokes that you think are funny. Don’t put on a fake smile all the time, but just smile when you feel like it.
  • Talk to a trustworthy friend about how you’re feeling. It makes you feel a lot better.
  • Write down your thoughts on a piece of paper. Just keep writing, then when you’re done, shred the paper and get rid of it!
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  • Sneak a candy into a friends pocket – let them wonder how it got there.
  • Learn to do something new, like how to make a tree ornament or do HTML code.
  • Have dessert for dinner, and dinner for dessert.
  • Read a book that makes you laugh, then listen to an uplifting song as loud as you like it.
  • Make a tent of blankets, cover the floor in pillows, and curl up with some hot chocolate and a good book, or someone you love.
  • Rearrange your room.
  • Teach someone to do something you do well – fly a kite, swim a mile. They will appreciate it.
  • Give someone a really great gift, no matter what the occasion. Watch their reaction, and you’ll get a high.
  • Don’t forget that you’re special. Remember that no matter what anyone says, you know who you are and you like yourself that way.
  • Don’t listen to people who want to get you down.
  • Smile nicely at a mean person.
  • Study hard, get an A.
  • It doesn’t matter who your trustworthy friend is; it could be your mother, father, or your best friend. Whoever you feel comfortable with.
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WARNING: People may think you are fake and shallow. Ignore them and express yourself.

  • Suicide is NEVER the answer, no matter what the problem is. Think things through, and you’re bound to find a way to make things right.

  • Spend time with God.
  • Pray, meditate
  • Think on things that are good Smile
  • Spend time reading the Bible.
  • Remember that your life is in God’s hands and He takes great care of His people.

“Smile awhile and give your face a rest….”

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After starting a new diet I altered my drive to work to avoid passing my favorite bakery.  I accidentally drove by the bakery this morning, and as I approached, there in the window were a host of goodies.   I felt this was no accident, so I prayed … “Lord, it’s up to you, if you want me to have any of those delicious goodies, create a parking place for me directly in front of the bakery.”

And sure enough,

on the eighth time around

the block,

there it was!

God is so Good!”

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Thanks to my friend,Tina Evans for this one!

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